Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions

How secure is the rental income stream from tenants?

One of the risks of commercial property investment is tenant risk.  This includes the risk that:

  • The business of the tenant fails and the tenant is unable to continue to honour the lease obligations
  • The tenant completes the current term of the lease but does not renew
  • And there is a market review and, based on the business of the tenant, the rent reduces

These risks and the way in which Fawkner Property deals with these risks is set out in a separate section of the disclosure document devoted to risks of investing.

What types of commercial property does Fawkner Property look for?

There is limited information for the commercial property investor.  Despite vendor statements, with more or less disclosure depending on the jurisdiction, and registered leases (other than in Victoria), there are many side deals between landlord and tenant and, except in major shopping centres, the trading position of a commercial tenant is difficult to find out.

Tenant demand for commercial property is what economists call a “derived demand” – meaning that the commercial real estate is used in the production of goods or services for sale by the tenant.  Understanding the drivers of the business of the tenant gives insights into the prospects of the tenant and the reliability of the rental stream.  It is not much use having fixed annual increases in rent if the higher rent becomes beyond the capacity of the tenant to pay.

Becoming knowledgeable in the business of particular types of tenants is exploiting the lack of information that pervades commercial property markets.

While Fawkner Property people have long experience in commercial and industrial property broadly, we have developed market leading expertise in motor vehicle fuel and convenience retail, as well as early learning.

Why do SMSF trustees in property trusts?

SMSF trustees invest in property syndicates to obtain reliable regular income payments, while protecting their capital from inflation.  Property syndicates provide regular income from monthly rent payment from tenants in commercial properties.  With annual rent increases, the value of the properties rises over time, keeping pace with inflation.

What happens if the trust is extended?

If Investors do not vote to wind up the Trust at the Exit Offer, the trust will be extended for a time recommended in the report accompanying the Exit Offer. Essential Services Trust 1 will have a provision for annual minor liquidity events, if the trust continues after the Exit offer. These Limited Redemption offers will be for a specified number of units at Fair Value, up to 5% of the trust. Any redemption offer will be sent to all Investors and be subject to the trustee being satisfied that the offer is in the interest of all Investors.

What does it mean that unlisted property trusts are ‘fixed term’?

All trusts have a fixed term – usually six or seven years – which is set out in the disclosure document. At the end of the term an Exit Offer is made to investors, giving them the chance to exit at a nominated exit price, determined by the trustee in accordance with the deed (Fair Value). If 75% or more elect to exit, the trust is wound up. If less than 75% wish to exit, buyers are found for their units at the Fair Value. Priority is given to existing unitholders to purchase the units at the sale price. If units remain unsold after six months, the trust is wound up.

How does a commercial property syndicate compare to a residential property investment?

There are some important contrasts:

  • The syndicate is professionally managed, so you do not need to be involved in hiring managing agents, leasing decisions, capital expenditure decisions, and owners’ corporation meetings.
  • Capital expenditure is allowed for by the manager, so you will not need to come forward with more money to upgrade the property.
  • If there is a loss, your downside is limited to your investment, whereas in a geared residential investment, the lender has full recourse to your other assets.
  • Commercial properties are not subject to residential tenancies legislation, which limits the field of action of the landlord.
  • While residential property leases are for a maximum of one year, with a market rent review each year, commercial property leases are longer – sometimes longer than 10 years – and have fixed or CPI increases each year, giving greater certainty of income.
  • Dealings with commercial tenants are based on business principles, whereas dealings in relation to the principal place of residence of a tenant can have an emotional overlay.

What is an unlisted property trust?

As a commercial property syndicator, Fawkner Property creates unit trusts, which purchase commercial properties, and offers the units to investors.

The goal of these trusts is to provide investors with reliable monthly income derived from commercial properties tenants as well as capital growth in the value of the properties.